I’ve heard those words before. I have heard them to describe others. I have heard them to describe me.
Before we offhandedly pooh-pooh the thought, let’s stop and think a little deeper about what heart or motivation lies beyond the desire to be in control.
Why do we want to be in control?
1. We want to navigate things to a desired outcome.
2. We want to prevent certain things from occurring.
3. We have a goal and we are going to do our best to achieve that goal.
4. We think we know best. Think about it. When I want to control a situation, I am trying to guide the situation to a desired end, MY desired end. I have put MY purpose, MY plan above GOD’S purpose, GOD’S plan.
5. Could it be that the inordinate desire to control our surroundings, our circumstances, and often people in our life is because we are trying to avoid the suffering that we perceive may result if our goal is not met?
6. Could it be that we desire control because we don’t trust God to navigate our situation to our desired end. We believe we know better than God. We trust ourselves more than we trust God.
7. Isn’t inordinate desire for control a form of unbelief?
8. Could the need to be in control ultimately be rooted in a fear of suffering? If I control my circumstances/situation and the people around me, I will navigate around the painful things to alleviate or minimize suffering in my life.
Perhaps this strikes a chord with you. I know it does for me. I never thought of it like that. I hope considering these things will cause us both to think more deeply about the root of what is motivating us when we desire and demand control. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, “What am I afraid will happen if this does not go the way I want?” And the follow up question, “Will I trust God even then?”
We are called regularly through Scripture to trust God, trust His plan, His purpose and His ways. Why do we wrestle so with that?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Diane Hunt served for 16 years on the staff of America’s Keswick until recently when she and her husband relocated to North Carolina. She now continues serving as a contributing writer and Partner Care consultant. Diane is also a Biblical Counselor, speaker, teacher, and author. She delights in the opportunities she has as a women’s conference and retreat speaker to share from God’s word. Many of her illustrations are drawn from her relational experiences as a wife, mother, and mema. They are the very relationships that bring her the greatest joy and the most fun!